D'oh! Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic
October 18th, 2010
12:43 PM ET

D'oh! Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic

Homer Simpson - perhaps the most profane character and worst father ever to headline a mainstream American television program - is Catholic, the Vatican's official newspaper has declared.

"Few know it, and he does all he can to hide it. But it is true," Luca Possati writes in Sunday's Osservatore Romano.

OK, Homer snores through the Rev. Lovejoy's sermons.

Yes, he relentlessly humiliates his evangelical Christian neighbor Ned Flanders.

But the show is one of the few in American life that takes religion seriously, a Jesuit is arguing - from grace before meals to an (admittedly off-kilter) belief in the afterlife.

The article riffs on the 2005 episode "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star," in which Homer and Bart flirt with the idea of converting to Catholicism (and Homer makes an outrageous confession).

Homer decides against it with "a cathartic D'oh!," Possati writes. But the Rev. Francesco Occhetta praises the episode - and the series –anyway, Possati writes.

Occhetta wrote about The Simpsons in the most recent edition of Italian Jesuit magazine Civilita Cattolica, Possati says.

Creator Matt Groening's "surreal comedy, pungent satire and sarcasm about the worst taboos of the American Way of Life" opens "anthropological themes that are tied to the meaning and quality of life," he says.

"The moral message? None," the Vatican newspaper concludes. "But a world without easy illusions is a more humane and perhaps more Christian world."

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture & Science

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Korby

    Maybe Homer could start molesting some young boys in the name of God. Hey it's your church idiot Catholics.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  2. mimi

    Ew!! I didn't know Homer was a pedophile!!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  3. jon

    this is not "the vatican" saying this – it's some columnist in the vatican city newspaper. it's like attributing the movie review column of the washington post to "the united states." I'll be looking forward to the CNN articles on what "the united states" thinks of the latest flicks.
    Oh, and you might want to hire some reporters/editors who know more than nothing about "the vatican" before they post nonsense like this.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  4. Carl

    In one Simpson's episode Marge is having road rage and driving a huge SUV and Homer is in an outhouse and Marge is heading straight for Homer but he can't open the door. He prays, "Jesus, Allah, Buddha, I love you all!"

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  5. Thomas in Vancouver

    A make-believe religion for a make-believe character. Seems about right.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  6. Susan

    No, the worst dad on TV is Peter Griffin. At least Homer has a conscience.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Tina

    I probably work with some of you who are very busy bashing Catholicism. I feel sad to think that the lifetime works in charity done by millions of Catholics in the world is so ignored, while a tongue in cheek article in a newspaper elicits so much hatred. Someone said,"they will know we are Christians by our love." Why would CNN hold up this article as something coming from the Vatican? I guess they don't have much respect for Catholics either.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Thomas in Vancouver

      The Hell's Angels have regularly conducted Toys For Tots campaigns throughout North America, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they're still a ruthless bunch of drug dealers and murderers. The same holds true of the church. What bits of charity they may do is more than offset by the atrocities and the horrors they're responsible for throughout history and the modern day.

      October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  8. bap

    You seriously think that a person who refers to "JEBUS" is a catholic when he goes to a protestant church and has repeatedly stated that religion is 'mumbo-jumbo'?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  9. Mark

    Seriously – it's a fricking cartoon. Just goes to show how asinine the catholic church is.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Kinglink

    Church has a sense of humor about itself? People hate them.
    Church has no sense of humor? People hate them.

    When will people admit they are intolerant or give it up?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Radiation Man (It's radioactive man, genius!)

    Homer is a Christian, but not Catholic. More than likely, I would say he's an evangelist, but 1% of what Ned Flanders is. Personally, I don't consider any episode past probably the 13th season to have any effect on the backstory or lifestyles (or, "mythology" if you will) of the main family. This is due to the fact that some of the latter day writers of the series, in their lack of story ideas and infinite boneheadedness, thought it would be a great idea to play around with the history of the family and other characters, the biggest transgressors being the episodes where we find out Skinner's name is actually Arnan Tanzerian (they at least corrected it in that episode), Lisa becomes president in the future while Bart tries to scam cash off of her, and the worst mistake of all, the episode called "That 90s Show," where they attempt to write over a very much loved past by saying Homer was first in an R&B style acappella group a la Boyz II Men and then switching out into a 90s grunge band called "Sadgasm." What the duck was wrong with his past in the B-Sharps?!?!? After these terrible mistakes, their past had been cemented in stone for me, meaning that Homer never became Catholic, Artie Ziff never tried to set up Homer to take a fall like Enron, and Springfield was never fully in cased in a dome (although the movie was better than I expected). Vent over.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Raison

      fanboy much?

      October 19, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  12. YoungCatholicSeminarian

    1st The opinion comes from a writer for a Vatican newspaper, NOT an authoritative church official. The word "official" ("the Vatican's official newspaper...") in this CNN article might make it seems as if it was doctrine or something.

    2nd For those that say “Why can't the Vatican just shut up?" A person serious about their faith makes it part of their entire life, including entertainment, and not just something you do on Sundays. You chose to click and read the article, you can simply go to something else that interests you instead. Wouldn’t making the Vatican shut up just go against Freedom of Speech which you yourself participate in by your comments being allowed to get on this thing? You don’t have to agree, but do respect.

    And 3rd I wish people who comment about the child molestations would take the time to actually research the statements coming from OFFICIAL Vatican reps and the pope himself regarding the problem, AND learn about all the new safety environment programs being established world wide both for lay ministers, current priest, and seminarians to avoid these horrendous things from happening again. I hope you are as critical about it with your own families, since most abuse happens by close relatives. It’s everyone’s problem, not just the Church’s.

    Lets be reasonable constructive critics people!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

      Thank you for standing up for the faith and for answering God's call. It certainly takes a lot of courage when there is so much misperception, misrepresentation and outright ignorance of what the Church does in the modern world. Remember that there a lot of us praying for you and your fellow Seminarians.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Frank

      May God bless you in your vocational journey.

      October 19, 2010 at 2:21 am |
  13. John M.

    He sure does DRINK BEER like a Catholic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Mel


      October 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Raison


      October 19, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  14. tct

    Marge is real! Whose mother didn't tell them"Listen to your conscience, not the voices in your head!"?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  15. Ryan

    Come on CNN! L'Osservatore Romano does not equal the Vatican in any normal sense of the word. When people say "the Vatican," it is normally understood that they are referring to "the Holy See," or the leadership of the Catholic Church. The Vatican had nothing to do with this. A reporter who writes for the Vatican's newspaper said this. Using the headline, "Vatican declares Bart and Homer Simpson Catholic," is moronic and does not hold up to journalistic standards I'd expect from them.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • jon

      It's CNN. They don't have journalistic standards. Every time something shows up in the local vatican newpaper they act like the pope said it.

      October 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Frank

      That's the media for you, Ryan. Bunch of morons, really. I'm sorry but it's true. 'Most trusted name in media'. Yeah, right! They're just a smidgen up the totem pole from FAUX News.

      October 19, 2010 at 2:07 am |
  16. Reality

    Said church still believes in virgin births, bodies that resurrect/ascend, "fleshy wafers" and "wingie, talking, flying thingies" so what is one more crazy belief?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  17. Paul Willson

    Is someone in Rome short of things to deal with ? This is a stupid blog. The Simpsons is a waste of time .Spending time anallezing this is show is akin to the old "hopw many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?" debate . And as equeally a waste of time .

    October 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  18. Kristi

    There was an aewsome book several years ago called "The Gospel According to the Simpsons" that details the religious themes of this show. It is very well written and deserves a look.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm |


    October 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  20. BajaJohn

    Nuts! Get a life! Cartoon Characters...looney tunes. Funny, sarcastic and downright boring.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.